More than 600 participants from over 60 countries shared and discussed democratic renewal, climate justice and participatory methodologies at the world summit of cities for democracy.
The municipality of Grenoble, with the support of Grenoble Alpes Métropole, other French cities and organizations working in the field of participatory democracy, hosted the annual meeting from December 7 to 10. This meeting was part of the closing of the European Green Capital 2022 and other events such as the meeting of cities in transition or the meeting of the network of French associative centers.
The theme of the conference was Take Action! Towards a democratic renewal in the face of the ecological, health and social crisis and focused on debating, exchanging experiences and proposing actions to improve the instances of local democracy, think about fair climate action and face challenges in our cities and territories with a view to inclusion and respect for human rights.
The opening ceremony took place on the 7th with statements by Éric Piolle, mayor of Grenoble and president of the IOPD, Pascal Clouaire, vice-president of Grenoble Alpes Métropole, Jean-Marc Yace, mayor of Cocody and co-president of the IOPD, Marc Serra, councilor of the City of Barcelona and secretary general of the IOPD and finally Annabelle Bretton, councilor for democracy in the City of Grenoble who presented the program of the conference.
This was followed by the inaugural dialogue moderated by Marion Carrel with Gerson Almeida, one of those responsible for the first participatory budgets in Porto Alegre, Elisa Loncón, first president of the Constituent Assembly in Chile, academic and social activist, and Magali Plovie, president of the French-speaking Parliament of Brussels, which promotes deliberative commissions between deputies and citizens chosen by lot.
Throughout Thursday 8 and Friday 9, round tables, workshops, meetings, visits and workspaces were held around the themes of the conference. In total, more than 80 activities were organized in this international conference.
Some of the most outstanding sessions were:
- Session organized by the scientific committee on the trenches and avenues of participatory democracy with Giovanni Allegretti, Yves Cabannes, Rocio Lombera, Jules Dumas Nguebou and Anna Suhkova.
- Return of experiences on participation and ecological transition with presentations from Africa, America and Europe.
- A set of consecutive sessions dedicated to participatory budgeting with three sessions: exchange of experiences table, return of the European Caravan of participatory budget for greener cities and the table on children and youth in participatory budgets.
- European Caravan of participatory budgeting for greener cities presentation (PDF)
- Towards a "Feminist municipalism" facilitated by the UCLG Committee on Social Inclusion, Human Rights and Participatory Democracy with Javiera Toledo, Mayor of Villa Alemana, Isabelle Peters, Deputy Mayor of Grenoble, Stela Farias, former Mayor and current State Deputy in Rio Grande do Sul, Rocio Lombera from the Municipality of Iztapalapa and Berivan Omar from the Jezireh Women's Bureau in Syria.
- The table on experiences of proximity participation and inclusion strategies with participants from various cities and organizations.
- Democracies under surveillance: resistance to the restrictions of democracy. With the participation of elected officials and organizations from cities and territories whose freedoms and security are threatened by the rise of authoritarianism, political violence or war.
- Dialogue of local leaders facilitated by UCLG Secretary General Emilia Saiz. Participants included Éric Piolle, Mayor of Grenoble; Javiera Toledo, Mayor of Villa Alemana; Edilson Moura, Deputy Mayor of Belém; Annaelle Schaller, Councilor for Democracy of Tours; Laura Carneiro, Councilor of Rio de Janeiro and elected Federal Deputy; and Marc Serra, Councilor for Citizen Participation of Barcelona and Secretary General of the IOPD.
- Sovereignty and Food Democracy, putting on the table how we face the food crisis, food security and land management from a democratic perspective.
- Deliberative democracy on the move: conventions, assemblies and citizens' juries with the experiences of the cities of Ankara, Brussels, Strasbourg and Paris, the Chilean constitutional convention and the Global Climate Assembly.
The IOPD Awards Ceremony took place on Friday 9th, chaired by Mayor Éric Piolle and UCLG Secretary General Emilia Saiz. The city of Manchester was awarded for its legislative theater experience for the co-creation of the homelessness prevention strategy. Seven other cities and regions also received special mentions. More information on the IOPD award winners
The trophy award ceremony for France's participation also took place within the framework of the IOPD conference.
Finally, on December 10, the IOPD General Assembly took place, during which the work plan for 2023 and the final declaration of Grenoble were discussed and adopted. The Portuguese city of Valongo was designated as the venue for the 2024 conference.
At the closing ceremony, the final declaration was read and the baton was passed from Grenoble to Rio de Janeiro, the city that will host the IOPD conference in 2023.